Skip to main content


  • Reference work entry
Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology


This entry addresses the changing meanings of the term “Romanization” since the late nineteenth century. For much of the time between the initial introduction of this concept and the 1960s, the process of Romanization appears to have been viewed in an uncritical light by archaeologists and ancient historians. Romanization was often considered to operate as a relatively simple process through which indigenous societies across Italy and the Western Roman Empire became integrated into a civilized community. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the ancient historians Theodor Mommsen (1817–1903) and Francis Haverfield (1860–1919) defined this concept. In many of the works that resulted from the tradition established by these two authors, Romanization was identified as a fairly simple process of social evolution, which derived its logic from the assumption that social change occurred in all societies from a primitive form to a civilized way of living and...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
USD 5,499.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions


  • Dyson, S.L. 1975. Native revolt patterns in the western empire. ANRW II 3: 138-75.

    Google Scholar 

  • Erskine, A. 2010. Roman imperialism. London: Duckworth.

    Google Scholar 

  • Freeman, P. 1997. Mommsen to Haverfield: the origins of studies of Romanizationin late 19th-c. Britain. Journal of Roman Archaeology (supplementary series) 23: 27-50.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hingley, R.(ed.). 2001. Images of Rome: perceptions of ancient Rome in Europe and the Unites States of America in the modern age. Journal of Roman Archaeology (supplementary series) 44.

    Google Scholar 

  • - 2005. Globalizing Roman culture. London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • - 2008. Not so romanized? Tradition, reinvention or discovery in the study of Roman Britain. World Archaeology 40: 427-43.

    Google Scholar 

  • - forthcoming. Post-colonial and global Rome: the genealogy of “Empire,” in M. Pitts & M.J. Versluys (ed.) Globalisation and the Roman world: perspectives and opportunities.

    Google Scholar 

  • Keay, S. & N. Terrenato. 2001. Preface, in S. Keay & N. Terrenato (ed.) Italy and the West: comparative issues in Romanization: ix-xii. Oxford: Oxbow.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lomas, K. 1995. Urban elites and cultural definition: Romanization in southern Italy, in T.J. Cornell & K. Lomas (ed.) Urban society in Roman Italy: 107-20. London: UCL Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mattingly, D.J. (ed.). 1997. Dialogues in Roman imperialism: power, discourse, and discrepant experiences in the Roman empire. Journal of Roman Archaeology (supplementary series) 23.

    Google Scholar 

  • - 2006. An imperial possession: Britain in the Roman empire. London: Penguin.

    Google Scholar 

  • - 2011. Imperialism, power and identity: experiencing the Roman empire. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Millett, M. 1990. The Romanization of Britain: an essay in archaeological interpretation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Morley, N. 2010. The Roman Empire: roots of imperialism. New York: Pluto.

    Google Scholar 

  • Oltean, I.A. 2007. Dacia: landscape, colonisation, Romanisation. London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Roth, R.E. 2007. Styling Romanisation: pottery and society in central Italy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schörner, G. (ed.). 2005.Romanisierung-Romanisation: Theoretische Modelle und praktische Fallbeispiele(British Archaeological Reports International series). Oxford: Archaeopress.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wallace-Hadrill, A. 2008.Rome’s cultural revolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Webster, J. 2001. Creolizing the Roman provinces. American Journal of Archaeology 105: 209-25.

    Google Scholar 

  • Webster, J. & N. Cooper. (ed.). 1996. Roman imperialism: post-colonial perspectives (Leicester Archaeological Monographs). Leicester: School of Archaeological Studies, University of Leicester.

    Google Scholar 

  • Woolf, G. 1998. Becoming Roman: the origins of provincial civilization in Gaul. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

Further Reading

  • Terrenato, N. 2008. The cultural implications of the Roman conquest, in E. Bispham (ed.) Roman Europe: 1000 BC - AD 400 (Short Oxford History of Europe): 234-64. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Richard Hingley .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2014 Springer Science+Business Media New York

About this entry

Cite this entry

Hingley, R. (2014). Romanization. In: Smith, C. (eds) Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology. Springer, New York, NY.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, New York, NY

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-4419-0426-3

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-4419-0465-2

  • eBook Packages: Humanities, Social Sciences and Law

Publish with us

Policies and ethics